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Equifax exec: Mobile key for customer acquisition and retention

NEW YORK – Credit reporting agency Equifax is using a plethora of business-to-consumer mobile marketing tactics for acquisition and retention, an executive revealed during Mobile Marketer’s Mobile Marketing Summit.

Ravi Achyara, senior vice president of technology for global Internet solutions at Equifax, said that Equifax is not solely a financial services institution. He claims that his company can also be seen as an Internet retailer, since it sells to consumers via the Web.

“We realized that our customers are mobile and that we need to provide them with relevant services via an integrated multichannel experience,” Mr. Achyara said. “We conducted customer research to figure out if the data proved what we were hypothesizing.”

Equifax analyzed existing page patterns and identified key customer interactions with the brand. Next, it thought up associated user scenarios that add value to consumers from a mobile perspective.

Based on all of this information, the company formulated a mobile strategy to address customer needs

“Our primary bread and butter is subscriptions,” Mr. Achyara said. “Therefore, we count on customers staying engaged with us.

“We break it into two parts: acquisition and retention.”

Equifax found that its customers are interested in learning and understand the importance of credit and scores. They are trying to find places to learn about credit and are educating themselves on the importance of having a bad score.

Content and information is a big part of the Equifax mobile strategy.

The company also found that customers are interested in seeing how other people in their area are doing and how they stack up to friends and neighbors in terms of credit scores.

Consumers are also interested in learning about products and asking experts for advice. Existing customers are interested in alerts regarding their credit file.

“If someone opens a bank account in your name, you want to know about that right away,” Mr. Achyara said.

Equifax lets customers monitor the health of their credit report via mobile. Customers can also lock/unlock their credit file to prevent expected hits.

In summary, Equifax’s mobile strategy is focused on three consumer needs: Discovery and learning,  managing and monitoring and, deciding and controlling.

“Our whole strategy is based on this,” Mr. Achyara said.

For cohesive customer engagement, Equifax uses CRM campaigns, mobile messaging, mobile advertising, mobile social media and apps.

“Equifax securely pulls required information from authorized users in real-time – data does not persist on the device,” Mr. Achyara said. “This enables customers to change devices or maintain multiple devices and retrieve their information seamlessly and securely.”